Assemblymember Nazarian Champions Legislation to Lower Insulin Copays for Californians Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Monday, May 18, 2020

(Sacramento, CA) - Today, the California Assembly Health Committee overwhelmingly passed AB 2203 by Assemblymember Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), which would cap insulin copays at $50. Diabetes affects millions of Californians a year and the soaring prices of insulin have disrupted millions of lives. People with Type 1 diabetes and some with Type 2 diabetes must have insulin to live, but price increases for those whose coverage requires significant cost-sharing have made insulin unaffordable. This should not be the case. This bill implements much needed legislation that puts patients above profit. Ab 2203  is a concrete solution to the high-cost of insulin that is burdening people with diabetes across the state and an essential step to fulfilling our promise to all working families of California.

“I know that this uncertain time during the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for us all, and many Californians are struggling to survive. My bill, AB 2203, aims to help Californians with diabetes by lowering the out-of-pocket costs for insulin so they can stick to their treatment plan outlined by their physician. When insulin is not taken appropriately, the risk of serious complications and death increases quickly. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more critical to lower copays to ensure Californians with diabetes can afford their life-saving insulin prescriptions and stay on their insulin regimens,” said Assemblymember Nazarian.

According to a report by the University of California, California Health Benefits Review Project, the bill will help lower insulin costs for approximately 50,000 Californians and an average of 50% per year. The report also found that the bill would not raise healthcare premiums by even 1%. AB 2203 is part of a movement that is sweeping the nation to protect people living with diabetes who need insulin to survive. To date more than nine states have passed similar legislation into law and over 30 legislatures are working on this issue across the nation. A recent survey found that over 25% of respondents who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 experienced difficulty refilling their insulin prescriptions.

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Adrin Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District, serving the San Fernando Valley communities of Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village. He serves as Chair of the State Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care.